Dining services will be forced to think differently about its plans to advance technology at the Au Bon Pain in Squires Student Center.
Three months after introducing iPads that customers used to order sandwiches at ABP and the ABP kiosk in Squires, dining services has determined the iPads are not working out. The ordering software on the iPads didn’t let customers know when orders were submitted, said Luther Moseley, assistant director of dining services for Shultz dining center, Squires and the Graduate Life Center.
“Therefore, people would put their order in multiple times, and at times, that caused us to make multiple sandwiches for a single order,” Moseley said.
Customers were first able to use the iPads in October 2011, mainly to head off possible health concerns — when customers filled out paper order forms they would hand them to sandwich makers, who would touch them before making sandwiches.
“Using the iPads eliminates any direct contact with customers,” said Michael Bordens, assistant manager of ABP.
But because dining services was beginning to lose money on wasted sandwiches, the iPads were beginning to not be as user friendly as they needed to be, Moseley said.
“We can’t get the software fixed, the company has proven difficult to work with and they haven’t been able to get things corrected for us,” he said.
Regardless, Michele Stulga, a junior English major and frequent ABP visitor, thought the technology was efficient.
“They were quicker than having to write out my order on paper,” Stulga said.
However, there would be anywhere from five to 30 mistake sandwiches made each day, Bordens said.
“When it started costing us because of the orders that were not getting picked up, that had to persuade us that we really need to be open to finding something that works better,” Moseley said.
Both Moseley and Bordens expressed interest in using a system similar to that of Sheetz — pictures of food are represented on touch computer screens, and users are shown different screens as they place their orders, rather being shown everything on one menu.
Although customers won’t be able to use the iPads to place orders, the technology won’t go to waste. Moseley said employees within the department will use the iPads, if their computers need replacing.
The dining staff hopes to figure out an alternative ordering system during the summer months, when the number of customers will significantly
“I don’t know if we’ll find one before we open in the fall, but that’s certainly the goal,” Moseley said. “We do want to have a system like this because it’s more sustainable, there is less paper being wasted. We want to have some type of electronic pricing